Honey Badger DOES Care … About Trademarks

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Friday, 5 February, 2016

Remember the good old days of viral videos, before cats started playing keyboards . . . when animals did animal-like things, like the “Dramatic Chipmunk” and the Honey Badger? Remember “Honey Badger Don’t Care!” and “Honey Badger Don’t Give a Sh*t!”? (Note: That asterisk is ours.)

Well, it turns out the apathetic little Honey Badger apparently does care about something . . . and that “something” happens to be trademarks.

Christopher Gordon is the narrator of those Honey Badger videos and he registered “Honey Badger Don’t Care” with the USPTO, but It turns out he didn’t register the phrase “Honey Badger Don’t Give a Sh*t.” Why is that? As Techdirt points out: “You can probably chalk up the lack of a ‘Honey Badger Don’t Give a Sh*t’ trademark to the Patent and Trademark Office's general resistance to all things sweary.”

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Topics: trademarks

ICANN Working on First gTLD Marketplace Health Index

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Wednesday, 3 February, 2016

ICANN has plans to publish its first gTLD Marketplace Health Index this summer as part of its broader ICANN Key Performance Indicator Dashboard (now in beta). The organization says the index “will analyze the overall health and diversity of the global gTLD marketplace.” Based on the proposal’s key performance indicators, the Health Index will examine metrics on gTLD renewal rates, new registrations, the incidence of data security breaches and UDRP and URS decisions, the number of registrars offering IDN registrations, the ratio of registrars to registrar “families,” and service-level compliance issues per TLD, among others.

The public comment period for the project just ended January 22 and ICANN says the comments it received will be used to help the gTLD Marketplace Health Index Advisory Panel develop the project roadmap.

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Topics: ICANN, nGTLDs

Parody T-shirt Maker and Saint Laurent Reach Settlement

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Monday, 1 February, 2016

When Hedi Slimane became Creative Director at Yves Saint Laurent in 2012, he deleted “Yves” from the fashion brand’s ready-to-wear line. Shortly thereafter, a t-shirt proclaiming “Ain’t Laurent Without Yves” hit the market. Created by Jeanine Heller, founder of a company called What About Yves, the t-shirt was just one of many apparel items depicting parodies of well-known fashion logos like Dior, Hermès, and LVMH, among others, that Heller sells on her website.

The owner of YSL’s trademarks, Luxury Goods International, filed a lawsuit against Heller for trademark infringement, trademark dilution, false designation of origin, and unfair competition. YSL also went so far as to cancel Paris boutique Colette’s order of YSL merchandise since the store had been selling the parody t-shirts, declaring that the sale of counterfeits was damaging the YSL brand.

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Topics: trademarks

Trademark Symbol Usage in TV & Print News Media — Yea or Nay?

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Friday, 29 January, 2016

Film awards are being given out fast and furiously at this time of year, but we’re still about one month away from the big one – the 88th Academy Awards ceremony – where The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) presents what are commonly known as “the Oscars.” We should probably write that as “Oscars®” . . .

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Topics: trademarks

London’s Black Cabs Not Distinctive Enough for Trademark

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Wednesday, 27 January, 2016

Last week, a High Court judge ruled that London’s black cabs are not unique and are, in fact, “devoid of inherent distinctive character” and “merely a variation of the typical shape of a car.”

And with that, the court rejected the London Taxi Company’s (LTC) claims that Frazer-Nash Research Limited and Ecotive Limited’s zero-emission Metrocab breached its trademarks, and invalidated LTC’s trademarks for the shape of its taxis. The Metrocab, a collaboration between Frazer-Nash Research Limited and Ecotive Limited (both part of the Kamkorp Group) is an electric taxi, which the company says is designed to “meet the market demand for greener and more sustainable transport.” Last year, London’s major, Boris Johnson said that all of the city’s new taxis should be zero-emission by 2018 to help reduce pollution.

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Topics: trademarks


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